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Rome Reports

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Cardinals take oath of secrecy as Conclave begins

But each one has an equally important task ahead, to elect his future leader, and father to nearly 1.2 billion souls.

Led by American James Harvey, the newest member of the lowest order, the College of Cardinals filed into the Sistine Chapel, and were seated according to precedence.

Joining them, were a handful of people allowed inside the Chapel, who took their oath on Monday. Once the voting starts, they must leave the room.

Once in place, all cardinal electors recited in unison their first vow to respect the rules of the election and to respect the outcome. But more so, they also pledged to keep what happens inside the the Conclave a secret.

As the oath ceremony went on, each cardinal, one by one, walked up to the altar of the Sistine Chapel, according to their order and seniority. With their hand on the Gospels, each one confirmed their vows.

After the last cardinal finished their vows, about an hour later, Msgr. Guido Marini, the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations uttered the famous words "extra omnes,� everyone out.

Behind closed doors, Cardinal Prosper Grech, who's unable to vote, spoke to the cardinals about their responsibilities inside the conclave, then exiting himself.

Cardinal Re, the most senior member, and the leader for the Conclave, followed and asked if there were any objections to starting the conclave. With none in place, the election process began.

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